“If questioning would make us wise
No eyes would ever gaze in eyes;
If all our tale were told in speech
No mouths would wander each to each.

Were spirits free from mortal mesh
And love not bound in hearts of flesh
No aching breasts would yearn to meet
And find their ecstasy complete.

For who is there that lives and knows
The secret powers by which he grows?
Were knowledge all, what were our need
To thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?

Then seek not, sweet, the “If” and “Why”
I love you now until I die.
For I must love because I live
And life in me is what you give.”

Christopher Brennan – poet – 1870-1932

‘Out-batted’, ‘out-bowled’ and ‘out-fielded by the Australians! – It’s as simple as that! I am not sure that ‘man-for-man’ there is little to choose between the 2 sides. The issue with England’s cricketers is all about psychological damage, application to building an innings and an inability to stop Australia’s momentum. I am not sure wholesale changes will improve the team’s performance. Maybe replacing Graham Gooch as batting coach might help. Who could replace him? Someone muttered Geoff Boycott to me. He talks a great deal of common sense, but he’s 73 years of age! Roll on the Boxing Day test match at the MCG!

“My colleagues, they study artificial intelligence; me, I study natural stupidity.” -Amos Tversky, Stanford psychologist and a founding father of behavioural economics “My colleagues, they study artificial intelligence; me, I study natural stupidity.” -Amos Tversky, Stanford psychologist and a founding father of the economics of behaviour.

Our TV channels are saturated with the death of Ronnie Biggs at the age of 84. The outpouring of sympathy for this robber, who sadly suffered from dementia, was extremely prominent. I cannot quite recall the same sympathy being accorded to the train driver, Jack Mills who was bashed over the head and never really recovered!

So FED watch finally reaches a crescendo today! The market, particularly equities, bonds and FX, will be taken out of their misery as to whether gentle symbolic tapering is introduced thus month – say $5-10 billion or whether we wait until January, when Janet Yellen gets her feet under the table. Equities have been neurotic. Apart from Friday’s good news on Industrial Production – up by over 3% last month – investors refuse to gird up their loins, until they know their fate! This evening all will be revealed. However the Street of Dreams never even whimpered, let alone purred, yesterday. The DOW eased a smidgen by 0.06%, the S&P 500 ducked by 0.31% and the NASDAQ closed just below the Plimsoll line down 0.14%.

AMC Entertainment Holdings priced its initial public offering at $18 a share on Tuesday as the movie theater chain prepares for its premiere on the stock market. That price was at the low end of the company’s estimated price range and values AMC at roughly $1.7 billion. By contrast, its bigger rival, Regal, is valued at $3 billion. Talking of IPO’s Australia’s coal mining titan, Linc Energy decided to issue its shares in Singapore rather than Australia at Sing$1.20, valuing the operation at Sing$34 billion.

Yesterday the financial news here in Old Blighty was mixed. On the housing front prices have risen on Y/O/Y basis by 5% in the last year from October – 12% in London. This news accompanied the facile speech by Ed Miliband, viscerally attacking house building companies for the unacceptable amount of money that has been made by executives and shareholders. He just doesn’t understand the economics of the country one iota. House builders are only responsible for an infinitesimal amount of the housing market; but without their contribution to the housing market, there would be no momentum!

BOE Governor Mark Carney made it clear that even though inflation is beginning to look benign at 2.1%, despite this data not including recent gargantuan energy prices, and the likelihood that unemployment is expected to fall a small amount in today’s figure below the current 7.6% level, the outlook for growth remains cautious. That tells me rates will remain unchanged in the foreseeable future even if the 7% threshold of unemployment is flirted with! QE will continue to rule OK! Mr Carney’s caution is understandable if one looks at retail. The initial signs for Christmas are not that encouraging. The demand by the public for measurable discounts has triggered similar requests by retailers of their suppliers. Debenhams is purported to have demanded a 2.5% discount from their suppliers. Let’s hope that there is a surge the consumer, as that he/she comes under a wet sale at the business end of the run up to Christmas.

The return of the Prodigal Son! Bob Diamond announced the arrival of his Atlas Mara – a shell company that will be used to make banking purchases in Africa, a country dear to his heart. The company raised $325 million against expectations of $200. Mr Diamond has put in $16 million of his own money. Ashish Thakkar has contributed $70 million. Despite Lord King and his coterie seeing Mr Diamond off the Barclays Park, the Chelsea and Boston Sox fanatic has plenty of following! It was interesting to note that once the bean counters had finished totting up the part-Lloyds sale, the government actually lost £200 million. Interest on borrowed money had not been accounted for.

On the European front Greece tells us that it will grow in 2014 – hope so but doubt it on a measurable basis. It seems that, not for the first time, the EU is making a total pig’s ear in agreeing terms for banking union. Germany seems incapable of bringing the EU back on the bridle. Throughout the talks, Germany and other rich euro-zone countries such as Finland made clear that they didn’t want their taxpayers to pay for problems that had developed in other countries’ banks in the past. If the resolution funds prove too small to deal with a big bank’s failure, taxpayers in the lender’s home country should pick up the bill, they argued. France and some Southern European countries, meanwhile, have been pushing to use the euro-zone government bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, as the common backstop.

These are David Buik’s personal views

Twitter – @truemagic68

David Buik

Market Commentator

+44 (0)20 7886 2775
Panmure Gordon & Co

One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF | United Kingdom

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